Book Reviews

The Beasts Heart Book Review #10

Author: Leife Shallcross

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

the beasts heart

‘Because I love you,’ I said. Four simple words. And I had never thought to speak them to her.

I am neither monster nor man – yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

I know why I was cursed; I know the legacy of evil I carry in my tainted blood. So how could she ever love me?

My Isabeau. She opened my eyes, my mind and my heart when I was struggling just to be human.

And now I might lose her forever.

♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥

 

This was a beautifully written Beauty And The Beast retelling from the POV of the beast and it was a very intriguing idea. I know I have a soft spot for broken, lost souls especially cursed ones in the literary world and reading all of this from his POV was sad and yet enlightening. I loved reading his fears and insecurities. Even when he is threatening, he is shocked and saddened by his own brutality.

 

The book is slow paced, not my favourite but works with the story, and articulated for its time, which I appreciated greatly, its easy to fall into modern habits when writing but this read well-researched and professional. Overly described areas and repeated thoughts did not bother me as it gave the POV more depth, as we are all prone to repeat ourselves and be overly focused on certain areas in our surroundings.

 

Instead of talking, animated objects, we have a sassy, non-speaking magical French chateau, hidden in the depths of a ‘haunted’ forest. Instead of a daughter saving her father, the beast makes a bargain with the man, to bring his youngest daughter to him or the beast shall harm him and his three daughters. Monsieur de La Noue does and Isabeau’s and Beast’s relationship blossoms beautifully however was repetitive at times. The love story was expected, a little of the insta-love (on the beasts part) but I don’t mind, it is Beauty And The Beast after all. The last 15% of this book flew for me as everything is explained, well and not rushed. The curse is different and explained completely, giving you more empathy for the beast than the Disney telling.

 

Honestly, I struggled with the language and the slow pace, but all in all I did enjoy it. This is the second BATB retelling of the year and it was different from the first but no less enjoyable.

 

♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥ ♡ ♥

 

Would recommend to fans of: slow-burn romance, Beauty And The Beast and flowery language.

Star Rating: 4

4 stars

I was sent/given this book by Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review, thank you both.

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Book Reviews

A Curse So Dark & Lonely Book Review #9 May Contain Spoilers

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury

We all have a spark inside us, and our sparks can find each other no matter where we are.

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

‧͙⁺˚*・༓☾  ☽༓・*˚⁺‧͙

Honestly, I came into this book with the highest of hopes, Beauty & The Beast is my favourite Disney movie of all time, any retelling, re-imagining, adaption is under the highest of scrutiny by myself. But A Curse So Dark & Lonely delivered every single chapter! I was not disappointed at any point.

I loved this book from beginning to end, the concept is awesome, I was explaining the idea to my mother and she was astounded someone thought this up. A girl from DC is transported to a parallel universe because she needs to fall in love with a prince and break the curse, and she has about 8-12 weeks to do it, it’s not your garden variety YA fantasy. But it was written expertly, I was never lost, never confused, I was always too interested in the page I was on I didn’t try to work out the plot early. I just let the book take me there. My favourite way to experience a book.

Written in the perspective of Harper and Prince Rhen I was screaming at the pair of them, “Do you not see he loves you” “Are you blind, she’s obviously feeling something for you FOOL”. As you can tell, I was rather invested in these two. Their relationship was wonderful to watch grow, no instalove, every eye catch, half smile and caught breath was earned by each side. Harper was always on the defensive, Prince Rhen always hitting her with the charm. at least for the first quarter of the book. After a certain altercation with the  sorceress, Lilith, it’s obvious Harper isn’t as angry at him as she’s been making out.

Rhen is broken, from the moment he meets Harper, he’s been trying to end the curse on his kingdom for 5 years and with Harpers arrival, the sorceress that cursed him makes this his last chance to break the curse. With nothing to lose accept the worst, Rhen tells Harper everything and she is less than amused. Grey, the kings guard and glue that keeps the kingdom, prince, and Harper in one piece is the sassiest, most honourable character in the book and he is the perfect medium for the pair. His strict, controlled conversations with each character, bring depth and understanding to both Harper and Rhens plights. Harper’s cerebal palsy is acknowledged at the right times and respectfully written into the book. In the acknowledgements, Brigid confesses she consulted a friend who has CP for help and further understanding. Harper is SO bad-ass, and strong and emotional and perfect. I loved her. I can’t wait for more!

I promise even with the above spoileryness there is SO much more to this book! I loved it, I’ve pre-ordered it, I need this on my bookshelf for those quotes, the sass and the love story, because deep down, that’s what I came for.

A Curse So Dark & Lonely is released on 29th January 2019.

Would recommend to fans of… Beauty And The Beast, hate to love relationships and sassy Royal Guards (be still my beating heart for Grey)

Star Rating: 5

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I was sent/given this book by Netgalley and Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review, my thanks because this was AMAZING.

Book Reviews

The Last Namsara Book Review #8 May Contain Spoilers

Author: Kristen Ciccarelli

Publisher: Orion Publishing

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“Once there was a girl who was drawn to wicked things. Things like forbidden, ancient stories. It didn’t matter that the old stories killed her mother. It didn’t matter that they’d killed many before her. The girl let the old stories in. She let them in, eat away at her heart and turn her wicked.”

 

Destroyer. Death bringer. Dragon-slayer. I am more weapon than girl.

Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she’s sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the wicked deed she committed as a child – one that almost destroyed her city and left her with a terrible scar. But protecting her father’s kingdom is a lonely destiny: no matter how many dragons she kills, her people still think she’s wicked. So, to unite the fractured kingdom she must marry Jarek, her father’s cruel commandant. As the wedding day approaches, Asha longs for freedom. Just when it seems her fate is sealed, the king offers her a way out: her freedom in exchange for the head of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard.

And the only person standing in her way is a defiant slave boy . . .

 

The Last Namsara is an action packed, gut-wrenching, first-person narration by the main protagonist, a burnt dragon hunter known as Asha the Iskari, her father, the king, has decreed there can no longer be stories told within his kingdom. The stories are of the old ways and of dragons and the dragons must be murdered for harming his daughter. There’s a side note of his wife being killed because of the dragons magic also… but lets move on.

 

As you read on the main plot is disturbed by the old, illegal stories, told in a beautifully different way, making you feel like the stories are not only illicit, but you are reading a book that could have been found in a library within the book. They give excellent foundations to the plot without ruining the rest.

 

I felt wholly engaged throughout the roller coaster ride this book took me on, at first I was not a fan of our princess, Asha, finding her spoilt, hot-headed and selfish, however she grew on me within the first quarter of the book and by the last I was cheering her on.

 

I loved the unexpected twists and turns of The Last Namsara, falling in love with the diversity and imagery the words struck into my mind. On a few occasions I gasped out loud and on others Kristen’s writing style and awesome use of chapter breaks managed to stop me breathing.

 

The setting is a beautiful Mediterranean feeling world, surrounded by an unknown Rift where the dragons reside, lush forests, mountains, vast seas and even deserts drew images of Egypt and Greece whilst I read on. With Kristen’s own created mythology weaving the world and characters beautifully.

 

I am very excited for The Caged Queen and it is the next book to be bought this year I think.

Would recommend to fans of… action packed paragraphs, forbidden love and dragons.

Star Rating: 5

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Shoutout to Fairyloot as the deliverer of most of my library but especially for the wonderful book above.

 

 

Book Reviews

The Twisted Tree Book Review #7 May Contain Spoilers

NB. Hey y’all, hope you had a wonderful new year and are settling into 2019 calmly and comfortably. Welcome to my first post of 2019.


Author: Rachel Burge

Publisher: Hot Key Books

`You write the story of you every day with your thoughts, words and deeds. You create yourself. You get to decide your story. No one else. You.’

Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye. Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose…

Slow to start and lacking in direction however I was hooked with the beautiful, atmospheric writing and the strange circumstances. I related to both Stig and Martha, being an avid romance runaway as a teenager, however never to another country.

Around 30%-40% in I was enthralled and read the remaining 60% in 1 sitting. I loved Rachels writing and the similarities between descriptive phrases and different characters. The twist of Norse mythology and the suspense it brought with it knitted this story into a classic. The strained relationship between Martha and her mother was wonderfully written, seeing it through Martha’s eyes and then learning why her mother acted that way brought a new understanding to the stress and strain a mother feels and the fear she holds for her child. It was lovely to have that half of the story.

There could easily be more to this story, and I would happily read more about Martha, I would like to know what else she could uncover with her family ancestry and powers. I will definitely look out for more from Rachel Burge, just wanted to thank Netgalley and Hot Key books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this pre-release.

I was sent/given this book by Netgalley and Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review.

The Twisted Tree will be available from 10th January 2019.

Would recommend to fans of… Coraline, Norse mythology and spine-chilling tingles.

Star rating: 4

Uncategorized · Book Reviews

The Lantern’s Ember Book Review #6

Author: Colleen Houck

Publishing House: Hodder Paperbacks

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare. 

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

This is legitimately the best autumn/fall read I have ever read! It has every element I needed after the book hangover I left behind (Muse Of Nightmares by Laini Taylor). We follow Jack and Ember through their journey into the Otherworld. These simplistic names and ideas made this book so cosy, I only wanted to read it whilst wrapped up with blankets and tea. And I’m going to be honest with you, I bought this book purely for the cover!

Colleen mixes many different myths, legends and tales from all types of cultures, from Will-o’-the-wisps to Jack O Lanterns, Dracula’s origin and even Nessie (The Loch Ness Monster)! Every time one of these moments cropped up, I smiled that little bit more, Colleen was able to drop these so effortlessly they became part of the story too.

If I had found or read this book any other time of year, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it quite so much. But starting it on All Hallows’ eve eve (30th October) it gripped me and wrapped me up in its creepy simplicity and swallowed me by its easy reading language.

I have lent this book out to a friend, hoping they will love it as much as I did! I would recommend reading this book when you need a cosy, semi-fast paced, simple story to cuddle up to.

That’s all from me my bookworms, I’ll be back with a reading wrap up in December. Till then, keep reading 🤓

Book Reviews

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Seek Book Review #5

Author: Anthony O’Neill

Publishing House: Skyhorse Publishing

“In this dark, atmospheric sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless classic, the strange case continues with the return of Dr. Jekyll . . .
Seven years after the death of Edward Hyde, a stylish gentleman shows up in foggy London claiming to be Dr. Henry Jekyll. Only Mr. Utterson, Jekyll’s faithful lawyer and confidant, knows that he must be an impostor—because Jekyll was Hyde.
But as the man goes about charming Jekyll’s friends and reclaiming the estate, and as the bodies of potential challengers start piling up, Utterson is left fearing for his life . . . and questioning his own sanity.”

“We are all Jekylls, yea, but equally we are all Hydes.”

»»————- ▪■▪ ————-««

I found this book on Netgalley and was intrigued to see someone had written a sequel/ode to Jekyll and Hyde story, but I was pleasantly surprised, this book was very slow to start and we follow Mr. Utterson and his journey through the seventh year since Dr. Jekyll’s disappearance, and we watch his descent into paranoia and madness.

I struggled with the first half of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Seek, it read like fan fiction, a really good fan fiction, but still fan fiction. The start was slow and I wasn’t hooked by the plot at first but it was the last 4/5 chapters I started to really enjoy the premise but it was over before, I felt, it had begun.Whilst reading the last chapter, the perspective we are given takes a lot of the action away from the context. I know I am not a fan of classics which may be why I didn’t appreciate the pace of this one, but this was written beautifully. It could easily have been written by Robert Louis Stevenson, the similarities in language, in format and the story falls wonderfully in line with the original. I would read this again, beautifully written if a little slow paced.

I was sent/given this book by Skyhorse Publishing via Netgalley in exchange of a review.

Book Reviews

The Cruel Prince Book Review #4 (Potential Spoilers You Have Been Warned)

 

Author: Holly Black

Publishing House: Hot Key Books

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“Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered in front of them. The terrifying assassin abducts all three girls to the world of Faerie, where Jude is installed in the royal court but mocked and tormented by the Faerie royalty for being mortal. 
As Jude grows older, she realises that she will need to take part in the dangerous deceptions of the fey to ever truly belong.
But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the infuriating, arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan . . . “

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  ★  *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Holly Black utterly entranced me with “The Cruel Prince” feeling like I had gobbled up a bushel worth of Fairie fruit, I was shoulders, knees and toes immersed into the world of Elfhame.

I have read very few books about fairies, and this has left me gagging for more, with a quick pace, action, intrigue, lies and duels at every turn I struggled to put The Cruel Prince down. Holly Black’s writing style had me missing every twist and turn ahead. I was only ever on the page I was reading never looking ahead which made every shocking moment that little bit more awe inspiring! I read this with my library buddy (neither of us the fastest of readers) and she was able to finish it in a weekend! This only shows how incredible a writer Holly Black is!

 

We follow Jude, tenacious, hot headed, human. She, her twin Taryn and their older half sister, Vivienne witness their parents murder at the hands of Vivienne’s biological father, Madoc, a fairy, a blood thirsty war general of a fairy. Who steals all 3 of them away, to the land of Elfhame. Here Jude and Taryn, are mortal and human, something most fae (especially the rich and the royal) hate! In The Cruel Prince, Jude makes bad decisions, serious enemies and gets in over her head at more than one point, but I couldn’t help but adore her fight and courage, I really can’t wait to see what happens next.

Elfhame Map

The Cruel King centers around the upcoming coronation of a new king, the crown must be passed from, and to, a descendant of Queen Mab, luckily there are 3 boys and 2 girls to pass the crown on to, but don’t count your chickens until they’ve hatched.

This book unnerved me in certain parts, the injustice that Jude suffers because of her humanity, they way she wants to be apart of their world yet all they do is tease and torment. I wanted to scream at every bully, ‘She’s mortal! She’ll be dead soon leave her be’ just so she could get some peace. But even with the unnerving moments this book held my attention and thoughts even when I wasn’t reading it. I knew there were characters I shouldn’t trust but I couldn’t help just following Jude and her story.

 

I genuinely had 2 jaw dropping moments and there haven’t been many writers who can blindside me, but Holly Black managed and I cannot wait for ‘The Wicked King’. Please be aware this is the first book within a series. The Wicked King hits bookshops and my postbox on January 8th 2019.

 

If you liked this review, please subscribe to my blog to get notifications when I post and please follow me on Instagram @bythe100thpage.

 

Please also feel free to message me on any social media with ideas, criticism, book recommendations or anything else 🙂

 

Keep reading bookworms 8)

 

Massive thank you to the lovlies at Fairyloot for including The Cruel Prince in the January 2018 box ‘Talk Fairie To Me’.

Sources:

Elfhame Map: https://thecruelhighqueen.tumblr.com/post/173801071643/map-of-the-shifting-isles-of-elfhame-the-cruel7

Book Reviews

Circe Book Review #3

Author: Madeline Miller

Publishing House: Back Bay Books

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In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

 But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

 

Another beautiful, foiled book! Thank you to my library buddy for lending me this perfect book.

Circe is perfection! My library buddy told me very little and I am so glad as it was a dream to read! Written in the same style but with a modern twist on the Iliad’s prose, this was one of the first books I have read this year that I genuinely felt all that the main character was feeling! I loved it!

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From the first chapter, I loved Circe and was hooked into her life story. At school, I studied Latin and Classical Studies and reading Circe was like the story I always wanted to read whilst I was in those classes! Don’t get me wrong I full on adored Classical Studies and Latin (the closest to Hogwarts classes I was gonna get!) but Circe is empowering and heartbreaking. I could tell that Madeline Miller is a Classical teacher! My teacher was similar in her passion when reading and explaining the books we read.

At first, I felt so sorry for Circe and her circumstances but slowly she became this absolute bad ass! Circe is a goddess but because of her experiences, she has this humanity that makes her plights that little bit more relatable and your love for her to burn that bit brighter. Madeline Miller gave me all the feels; every emotion was felt and as the story progresses you become very aware of the struggles she has survived and how that has shaped her into what she becomes. I am not going to say too much more as I would hate to spoil it. Just read this book!

I would recommend this book to those who like a singular perspective and anything Greek Mythology themed, I got some serious Hercules (Disney) vibes and I loved every page of this book, I was hooked! I will also be adding Madeline’s other book, The Song Of Achilles to my To Be Bought list! Circe will be bought (in paperback) as soon as it is available and staying on my bookshelf for a re-read in the future.

Apologies, I have been super quiet again, I have had some annoying issues with technology making it difficult for me to post! But I’m back! And I am not going anywhere! June will be filled with my April adventure post, some book reviews and a book haul at the end of the month as it is my birthday! 8)

 

Speak soon Bookworms 8)

Book Challenge · Book Reviews

The Wicked Deep Book Review #2

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Publishing House: Simon Pulse

Two centuries ago, in the small, isolated town, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return from the depths, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them down to their watery deaths.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into or the fact that his arrival will change everything…

Oh my gosh! This was awesome! So beautifully written and a stunning book, with jacket and without!

This was one of my quickest reads this year, in less than a week I had opened and shut The Wicked Deep and I really enjoyed it.

With wonderful in depth main characters, great support from other characters and some well written lore to ground this story deep in my mind, I was enraptured! The writing flowed like actual water and lulled me through each chapter. This is another book where I don’t want to ruin or spoil the story for anyone however if you are looking for something not as heavy as Alice Hoffman’s The Rules Of Magic and you’re a fan of Hocus Pocus then read this book! It’s a light read, some suspense and a beautiful journey from cover to cover.

This was also one of the books for my Book Challenge 2018 “A Book You Pick Because Of The Cover” and, well, it’s obvious huh? I refused to by this in paperback, even though that’s my preference for reading, because of it’s embossed sky scene on the inside and the holographic artwork on the jacket. Not to say the paperback isn’t pretty.

I would happily read another book by Shea Ernshaw, with great writing style, an excellent storyteller and characters you really feel for, I’m going to keep an eye out for more from her.

This is my second book review, please let me know what you think. Good, bad and downright honest is what I’m looking for. I’m sorry it’s been a while, May has gone by in the blink of an eye and I was swept up with it! Normal service will resume soon.

Have a good week, Bookwormers 🤓

Book Reviews

Hekla’s Children Book Review #1

Author: James Brogden

Publishing House: Titan Books

Description:
A decade ago, teacher Nathan Brookes saw four of his students walk up a hill and vanish. Only one returned – Olivia – starved, terrified, and with no memory of where she’d been. After a body is found in the same woodland where they disappeared, it is first believed to be one of the missing children, but is soon identified as a Bronze Age warrior, nothing more than an archaeological curiosity. Yet Nathan starts to have terrifying visions of the students. Then Olivia reappears, half-mad and willing to go to any lengths to return the corpse to the earth. For he is the only thing keeping a terrible evil at bay…

Rating: 3.8/5

I genuinely had no expectations when I picked this up for my book challenge of 2018. However, I feel very privileged as I met James at Comic Con in Birmingham 2017. A lovely, genuine author who gave enough information to intrigue me but none to spoil the story! So I won’t spoil it either.

I loved the concept of this book and it was an easy, quick read. Modern prose and in-depth characters made Hekla’s Children enjoyable and gripping. I was always so wrapped up in the moment I didn’t see the twists and turns coming, something I appreciate whole heartedly in a book. As I have said in my book challenge blog, this book has been at the bottom of my TBR but now having read it, I regret leaving it so long! My only disappointment was the ending, it felt rushed however it might be that I didn’t want the book to end. I will happily re-read this book so it’s staying on my shelf. I would warn those who think this is YA. I don’t think it quite fits into that category… somewhere between YA and Adult I would say.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a little horror, intrigue, time travel and historical fiction.

This was my first book review, please let me know what you think. Good, bad and downright honest is what I’m looking for.

Happy Sunday Bookwormers 🤓